Seychelles, officially known as the Republic of Seychelles, is the smallest African country in the Indian Ocean. Seychelles consists of several islands, numbering 155, including 42 rocky granite islands, and 113 atolls, the largest of which is Mahe Island, where the capital of Seychelles, Victoria, is located and comprises 90% of the Republic’s population.
Seychelles was named after French General Cornai Nicholas Murphy, after French Finance Minister Jean-Morro de Seychelles in 1756, and follows a presidential republican system of government, with 25 administrative districts under its rule.
Seychelles is a sea archipelago, geographically located in the Indian Ocean, north-east of Madagascar, at the crossroads between Asia and Africa, 1,600 km off the coast of East Africa, and does not share the border with any country, while Seychelles is astronomically located in the UTC +4H time zone; with coordinates stretching between ′35°4 south and ′40°55 east.
Seychelles Republic Area
The total area of the Seychelles republic is 455 km2 and includes a coast of 491 km. The islands consist of tropical forests, with an area of 88.5% of the republic’s total area, while agricultural land accounts for only 6.5%, the Mahe Island Group is of a volcanic nature, but is outside the hurricane zone.
History of Seychelles
The Seychelles republic was not once inhabited, and there were no indigenous inhabitants of the State, and although it did not witness any form of life until the 17th century, travelers and explorers visited it from ancient times; Portuguese traveler Vasco da Gama was the first to locate Seychelles in 1502, the so-called Admiral Islands; In 1517, the Portuguese drew a map of the area and named the islands surrounding the Seven Sisters.  The first to set foot on the islands were the British explorers of the East India Company, which occurred in 1609 after their ships veered into the sea, and Arab merchants also reportedly flocked to the island in the Middle Ages for Coco de Mer nuts, and the islands had not experienced any form of life for 150 years thereafter.
French attempts began in the 18th century to occupy the islands, and in 1744 the French occupied the island, now known as Mauritius, and drew a map of Mahe Island, and twelve years later, occupied the islands, named Mahe Island as French Finance Minister Jean Morro de Seychelles, and later named after all the islands.
Mahé Island witnessed its first human life on its territory in 1770, where a French colony of 15 French, seven slaves, and five Indians was established, relied on agriculture to secure their food, and when the French Revolution in 1790 declared independence from France, it remained a source of supply for French, British and Arab merchant ships.
The British took control of Seychelles in 1811, and many problems escalated over the slave trade between the city’s inhabitants and the British government, which allowed slave trade, which led to the emigration of many slave traders from the island, halved the island’s population, and as a result of the island’s campaigns against the slave trade, nearly 2,500 people were rescued from slavery and brought to the island.
The larger population relied on cotton cultivation and sugar cane, as well as coconuts, and fishing. In 1903, the Seychelles officially declared a British colony, but the population continued to speak French, as well as French customs and traditions, and at the time of World War II a group of French-speaking farmers took control of the islands.
Seychelles residents demanded their own laws when World War II was established, and in 1939 formed the first political party in Seychelles, and the country’s first legislature was elected in 1948, and political movements demanding the rights of the population in the 1960s, while the first constitutional convention was held in 1970, at which time James Muncho installed Seychelles’ first prime minister.
Seychelles was declared independent as a state on June 29, 1976, and James Muncho was appointed president, but Albert René soon planned a bloodless coup and was appointed president, ruling it for 16 years until 2004, when René handed over the chair of government to James Michel, the current President of the Seychelles Republic.
Seychelles has 93,186 inhabitants, according to 2016 statistics; the Republic has five ethnic groups:
French, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, and Africans. Seychelles’ official language is Seychelles Creole, spoken by 89.1% of the population, along with English, French, and other languages, according to 2010 statistics.
The majority of the population is Roman Catholic 76.2%, protestants are 10.6%, other Christian denominations are 2.4%, Hinduism accounts for 2.4%, Islam 1.6%, and other religions.
Tourism in Seychelles
Seychelles has a vital and important tourism sector, as it is one of the leading contributors to the local economy, and because of its picturesque location and its charming and landscaped islands, Seychelles attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year, with 276,233 tourists arriving on the island in 2015.
Seychelles is currently experiencing an active and thriving tourist movement, characterized by construction, construction of hotels, tourist resorts, and even its beaches, which are the most beautiful and best in the world, in addition to its distinctive services to tourists, is the best in the whole world, and the Republic of Seychelles has hundreds of beautiful tourist beaches, which tourists can visit and enjoy its beauty, so two sites from the Republic were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980